Car Number Plates

Private Number Plates

What Type of Personalised Number Plate Can I Buy?

If you are considering a personalised number plate, then what is the best type of plate you can buy that suits your needs?

To answer that question more fully, you need to consider several different things. Who is the plate for? What is their taste? Is it for business or pleasure? Is it a joke, or something more serious?  Building up a picture of who the intended recipient of the number plate is (if it is not yourself) is important as it can help you find the ideal number plate that they will cherish and enjoy.

So with that in mind, what are the different broad categories of personalised plates I can buy?


1. Cherished Plates

Cherished plates are the most popular, most sought after and as a result, most expensive form of personalised plates available today. These marquis plates of the automotive industry are bought as much as an investment as they are for their rarity and appeal to the owner. You must remember that you will never actually own the registration plate, you are just allowed to use it on your car by the DVLA. If you ever scrap the car or let the certificate of retention expire then the registration will default back to the DVLA, who could in theory then resell it, you will never own the registration number!

There are many different types of Cherished plates ranging from some of the earliest known registrations in the UK, which used a small amount of numbers and letters (some of which can form names, dates of birth, words etc).

If you have a larger budget and are looking at a cherished plate, then you’ll want to speak with an expert about your investment, so remember to visit a specialist site, is a great place to start. 

2. Name Number Plates

Perhaps the most commonly bought type of plate is one which directly relates to the name of the recipient.  There is a huge variety in the cost of these plates with some for sale for many thousands of pounds, while others available for just a couple of hundred.

The more obvious the plate reflects a person’s name, then the more expensive the plate tends to be. So for example, the personal number plate K4 THY (KATHY) would be one of the most expensive ones to buy, whereas plates that include other names and numbers K414 THY for example, would cost less.

Remember too, you can use initials, date of births, lucky numbers or another significant number (birth month, year of birth) to make your plate personal to you. So if Kathy was born in 1971, then a plate K 471 THY may be one to consider.

3. Nickname or other Identifying Number Plates

Words that link to, identify or describe a person are a great way to personalise your own number plate. Sir Alan Sugar for example, has the plate AMS 1 (signifying his first company Amstrad) while Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovic owns the number plate VIP 1.

Many footballers like to own plates that they identify with, such as CR 7 when Cristiano Ronaldo played for Manchester United, or 9 DF when Duncan Ferguson was Everton’s number 9.

Boxer Prince Naseem Hamed owned NAS 1.

Number plates that link to the holder are a good choice too, hairdresser Nicky Clarke purchased the H41RDO (Hairdo) number plate, while snooker legend Jimmy White was once the owner of the 1 CUE number plate.  Paul Daniels is the owner of the registration MAG 1C, and in a similar vein Jimmy Tarbuck is the owner of COM 1C.

Private Number Plates

Image by Flickr/Damian Morys Foto

Of course, there’s lots of scope here for nickname plates too. G19 GLE is a good plate for someone who laughts a lot for example – the only limit on these plates are what are legally allowed and your own imagination!

4. Business Number Plates

Many businesses now recognise the value of a cool plate in drumming up custom, a wedding car company owns the M4 RRY number plate, which explains why this particular car is so popular. If you or the person you are buying for owns a business and the plate can serve a dual-purpose, then it is a good idea to look into.

5. Funny/Risque Number Plates

If you have a sense of humour then the great news is that despite the DVLA removing many of the more offensive or potentially obscene number plates from circulation, there are still a large number of highly amusing and even risqué personalised plates available.

So if you have someone who is K1 NKY, SL1 NKY or even up for a L4 UGH then these plates can be a great conversation piece as well as easily recognisable and identifiable.

6. Interests Number Plates

If you or the intended owner of the plates has a real passion in life, then there’s usually a number plate you can find for it. From football team plates (WE57 HAM, W1 GAN), to golfer plates (T33 OFF), there is always an option to purchase a number plate in this vein. Once again, the only limit here is what the person is interested in and your imagination.